After rising to prominence in Johannes Scheid’s BMW M235i Racing Cup ‘Eifelblitz’ and a Nürburgring 24 Hours class win in the Mühlner Motorsport Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Tobias Müller stepped up into the SP10/GT4 class in this year’s VLN championship. Racing the Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT4, the 22-year-old stormed to the title in GT4.
It was that performance in 2018 that eventually landed the racer born and bred at the Nürburgring the drive with Black Falcon in the small but highly competitive GT4 class alongside VLN veteran Tim Scheerbarth and fellow GT4 newcomer Tristan Viidas.
“It was a last-minute call,” Tobias Müller describes the road to Black Falcon. “My first season was in the BMW M235i Racing Cup and especially my second season with Scheid Motorsport was great: We broke the lap record in the Cup. At the end of the season we met with Black Falcon and planned this year.
“It was late when I signed with them – I think it was in February. Two weeks later we were in Portimão to test the new Mercedes-AMG GT4. The whole team was very motivated for the season.”
During the pre-season test in Portugal, Müller knew: He could do this, and do this well. The tone for the rest of the year was set.
“Already in Portimão I had a great feeling. At the first or second VLN race I did the fastest lap in GT4 on the Nordschleife, so I was quite happy with that. The Nordschleife is my home track, I think I can be fast here in any car.”
After a series of wins, the team went into the Nürburgring 24 Hours where they again were victorious. Success continued to follow the #162 Black Falcon Team Identica Mercedes-AMG GT4 to VLN as it went on to take the championship – despite a mid-season slump.
“To become GT4 champion in VLN is great,” Tobias Müller says, “but this season had many ups and downs. The field of the competitors was tough, especially at the 24 Hours against Bonk, but the race was great. Our car felt great, Black Falcon did a great job. We raced for over 24 hours without any issue, without any mistake, that’s how we won the 24 Hours.
“The team did a great job – it was perfect.”
While things started out exceptionally well on-track, off-track tragedy struck when his father, former VLN race winner Klaus Müller, passed away weeks before the Nürburgring 24 Hours. Through the whirlwind of emotions, Tobias gave the man who lit the fire of racing in him a fitting tribute.
“It wasn’t [an easy season], especially after the 24 Hour race and after my dad passed away. That win at the 24 Hours was for him. He’s always racing with me: On my helmet, on my car. We had a sticker on the car since the 24 Hour race. The team put stickers on all of our cars. It was great what the team did, I especially thank them for doing this for me, to give me some extra energy.
“Winning the 24 Hours race was the best moment this season. The team gave me the chance to do the last laps and then to bring the car over the finish line was so emotional, I was crying – I have no words for it, it was great.”
With Tim Scheerbarth, the young Müller had a teammate of stature, a driver who knows what it takes to win, having won both VLN class championships as well as the overall VLN championship.
“To work with Tim Scheerbarth is great, he’s a very experienced driver,” Müller continues. “There are always particular things you can learn from him, like starts and mixed weather conditions. But also, from a human point, he’s a great and cool guy, a very good teammate, we had a lot of fun this season.”
Third pilot on the team was Tristan Viidas, who like Müller is a graduate of the BMW M235i Racing Cup and also had a 2018 Nürburgring 24 Hours winners’ trophy to display.
“Tristan is also a great person and very fast. He was always very concentrated this season and knows what he’s doing and what to do. It was perfect how we all three worked together.”
Crowned GT4 champion, the next step could be GT3. However, everything stands or falls with sponsorship, leaving the driver from Euskirchen still in doubt of what his 2020 program will look like.
“That’s the question I’ve had a thousand times now. We will test the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Barcelona, but it’s quite expensive. We’ll have to search for budget with partners and sponsors – I need them.
“But I will drive for Black Falcon again. They’re like a small family with the mechanics and the team members. It was a great season with them.”